On August 2, 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics released the study "Household Cleaning Product-Related Injuries Treated in US Emergency Departments in 1990-2006" which analyzes the data compiled from reported cases injured by dint of their exposure to assorted household chemicals over a 7-year period. In that time, well over 250,000 children under the age of 5 received medical treatment after being exposed to cleaning products ranging from laundry detergent and swimming pool chemicals to drain cleaners and bleach.

Fortunately, over that time span, the number of reported child injuries diminished by nearly half.

Importantly, and of note to parents, however, nearly 75% of the reported injuries involved children between the ages of 1 and 3, after they had swallowed these household chemicals. Based upon the report, the AAP reiterated its recommendation that parents undertake the following precautions:

  • Store all poisonous chemicals in locked cabinets that are both out of reach and sight of children;
  • Try to purchase only those household chemicals that have child-resistant packaging; and,
  • Do not transfer household chemical products from their original containers into different ones.
Although I don't see anything in this report that is particularly novel (other than the mildly encouraging numbers), a helpful reminder about product safety in the home is certainly welcome, don't you think?
Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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